Here's an email from the City Clerk that Brenda Konkel just put up:
The number of absentee voters we have seen so far indicates that the turnout for the April 5 Spring Election may be similar to the turnout we see for a November Election.
The City Clerk's Office would like to recruit city employees to work at the polls on city time with their supervisor's permission. This would enable our polling places to split the poll books if the lines get long. We do not want our voters to have to wait in line any longer than 15 minutes.
Dammmmmmmmn. As high as a November election? Ever since the protests started I knew the turnout would be much higher than usual but it sounds like the clerk is suggesting we could see participation near 50 percent, which would be incredible.
Update: Joe Tarr has investigated this claim himself in today's Isthmus, and it appears the clerk may have been overzealous in her prediction.
The numbers don't seem to support this claim. The clerk's office says that, as of Tuesday, 888 people had cast absentee votes for the April 5 election. In the Nov. 2 general election, 11,369 people voted early or by mail. The city has 173,026 registered voters.
Granted, the effect of the recent political turmoil will be especially dramatic in Madison, meaning that Eileen Bruskewitz is probably going to get absolutely crushed in the county executive race but JoAnn Kloppenburg, for instance, still has a tough fight in the race for Supreme Court.
How things have changed. Until three months ago the only race worth watching appeared to be the county exec race. If two liberal candidates got through I figured it could make for an exciting diversion from what looked to be a blowout waiting to happen in the mayoral election. And somebody taking down Dave Prosser? Yeah right.
Now Mayor Dave and Justice Dave have serious opponents, but the county exec race is a total joke.